Traveling to Florence, Italy

Traveling to Florence, Italy

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Hey guys!

Back again with another travel blog post. This one I am actually splitting into two different posts; one Florence and one Rome since there is so much to see and do in each. The reason I went to Italy in the first place was to visit my sister who was an au pair for an Italian family (I know, right?!) Seeing as I majored in art history in college, I elected to spend my first time in Italy in the two art meccas of the world (by my standards at least, lol). We decided to meet in Milan because it was super cheap for me to fly from the states over to Europe that way (we’re talking under $600 round trip!). This was my first time flying internationally alone and it was…interesting. I had a layover in Switzerland and kind of just followed the crowd until I officially was lost and had to ask someone where I was. While I did that, my duffle bag broke (i packed far too much in that thing) so I had to handle carry that sucker the rest of the trip. Once I got to Milan, trying to find my sister was a nightmare. Neither of us are very good at explaining where we were or anything around us so we spent a better part of an hour looking for each other (we did find each other eventually!). Lucky for me, Laura knew the train system as our hotel was actually in the city of Milan and the airport was not. The first thing we did once we put our bags down? PIZZA! You can never go wrong with pizza, especially in Italy.

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Milan Pizza!

After our amazing overnight trip to Milan, we set out for the train station to take us to Florence, Italy. I thought I was well prepared for this trip as I had prepaid for seats (Google told me to do so!) except I forgot to actually print them out which made us almost miss our train. Yes, we were those girls running through the train station with our luggage behind us. We literally jumped up onto the first car we saw (which was a huge mistake). When we finally looked at our tickets, we were car 10 and we were currently standing on car 1. This meant we had to lug all our heavy luggage (I’ll also get back to this later) through the skinniest aisles I have ever seen of  9 OTHER CARS. The words “sorry, didn’t mean it, coming through” were said so many times I lost count. We finally found our seats and the next two hours went by smoothly. Once in Florence however, Laura and I got lost again trying to find our hotel (only to find out we were a block away the whole time!). Finally after the longest day of my life it seemed, we started to explore. We walked to the Duomo that I had learned so much about during my art history courses and it-did-not-disappoint. It’s also the backdrop for Assassin’s Creed so I was totally geeking out over that as well.

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In front of the duomo in Florence, Italy

 Places to Visit in Florence:

Before I got to Italy, a coworker of mine had told me about a website called Viator I could book tours ahead of time to save some time and a few headaches. We went to Italy during Easter ( I KNOW, RIGHT?!) so we expected it to be pretty high during tourist season. Viator gave us the option to buy tickets to “Skip the Line” at certain museums so you wouldn’t spend half your morning just waiting. A guided tour also came with the two tours we picked which was an extra bonus. I’ll link the two we did below and let you know my thoughts but I highly recommend buying a skip the line tour in any country you go to; it’s so worth it!!

 

  • Skip the Line tour to see The David : this was the first tour we used from Viator and it was incredibly easy! We met right in front of the Accademia Gallery where the famous David statue is on display. The tour guide had a very tall and bright sign letting us know where she was located. Once we all arrived, we all received headsets and headphones so we could hear her at all times. We saw the line before we were walking in at 9am and it was already two blocks long! And we just walked in!! SO WORTH IT!! The tour itself was about an hour, hour and a half and you were more than welcome to stay after to check out more of the museum. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about the art ad passionate which I was most impressed with. I give this tour a 5/5 stars
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the David
  • Skip the Line Uffizi Museum : Since I was an art history major in college, this was the museum I needed to get my hands on. I knew there wasn’t a lot that a tour could do for me on this one, so I got to be my own tour guide! These tickets just got us in earlier so we didn’t have to wait! I am telling you, these tickets were our best friends in everything we did in Italy. So worth the money!!! If you don’t know the Uffizi is one of the oldest art museums in Italy and houses works from Caravaggio to Michelangelo. It truly is inspiring to see some of the greats in real life.

 

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Waiting to get into the Uffizi Museum!

 

Not everywhere in Florence did you have to pay to go to. There were quite a few sites that I strongly suggest you check out if you are ever in Florence as we were amazed that things like this exist. If you are interested in more tours that Florence has to offer, click here

  • The Ponte Vecchio: Or “Old Bridge” in English is the oldest bridge in all of Florence. It’s a pedestrian only bridge with shops (yes, shops of golf and silver and anything else you can imagine) on both sides! It is absolutely stunning to see walking up to it and even better once over the bridge. I highly recommend that if you are going to the Uffizi museum, stop by afterwards and you won’t regret it!

 

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A little rainy day at the Ponte Vecchio in the back

 

  • Boboli Gardens: So, as I said previously, we were in Florence for Easter. We weren’t really sure what to do as everything should have been closed but we found out that all the museums were FREE that day (first Sunday of every month!). So we did a little googling and saw these gardens were also free (and the line to get in was MUCH shorter than the palace attached to the gardens (Pitti Palace). I have to say, this place was one of my absolute favorite parts of Florence. Tucked away from everything else, you have these huge, almost secret garden like gardens that run behind a palace. Did I mention it gives you a fabulous view into the city as well?? If you are looking for something outside or just a little different, this is your place to go.

 

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Boboli Gardens overlooking Florence

 

  • Panoramic view from Piazzale Michelangelo: I loved all three of these free sites to visit but this must have been my favorite. I thought the view of the city was fantastic of Bobli Gardens but this just took it to another level. Warning: there was a LOT of walking and climbing stairs to get to this overlook. I believe you can get a taxi to take you to the top if you are uncomfortable. The entire hike up was scenic with more gardens on our left and watching the city to our right. there was even a restaurant at the top where you can sit and enjoy the view! A ton of merchants were at the top with little cool knickknacks to remember your time by. But seriously, can we talk about that view????

 

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Overlooking the city of Florence at the Piazzale Michaelangelo

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post about Florence as much as I did. it’s an absolutely charming, walkable, old city that you should certainly check out if you find yourself in Italy. Until next time,

 

xoxo Krissie

 

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13 Replies to “Traveling to Florence, Italy”

  1. This is an awesome post and pictures are great! The heart shaped pizza looks yum, hope it was enjoyable. I have to say that Boboli gardens was my favourite part of Florence but then again I visited many years ago…. hope you had fun!

  2. Florence is so beautiful, love all your pictures. I went to Florence for a weekend almost 7 years back and it has been on my bucket list to visit again, bookmarking your post!

  3. Italy seems like one of the best countries to live in. They have everything! From exceptional history and monuments, to magnificent mountains and gorgeous beaches 🙂 I haven’t been to Florence, but it may happen this summer! Thank you for your guide, hopefully it will come useful 😉

  4. I’m going to Rome soon, after 10 years since my last visit. My heart was set to Florence and Tuscany, but the flight schedules didn’t fit the time we had for this holiday. But it’s such a beautiful place to be. Not just Florence, but all the little towns worth one-day trips all around it, too.

    1. Viator has been my main source of tours and tickets for all my excursions:) We just booked our ones for Amsterdam through them, well worth it!

  5. I didn’t get to see the original Michelangelo when I visited Florence a couple of years back:( It was closed off! This city is just so beautiful and I definitely want to go back and visit more of the museums around!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed Florence! Its such an amazing city! I hope you get to go back and see the David some day 🙂

  6. Italy is amazing, I’ve been twice but not to Venice nor Rome. I’ve been amazed at the beautiful photos particularly the large heart shaped pizza. Enjoy your travels x

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